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US praises PM Narendra Modi's invite to SAARC leaders for swearing in

Saturday, 9 August 2014 - 6:39pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

The US on Saturday praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to invite SAARC leaders for his swearing-in ceremony saying this has given signals about his government's commitment to better relations with Pakistan and other neighbouring countries.

"By inviting South Asian leaders to his inauguration, Prime Minister Modi signalled commitment for better relations with Pakistan and other neighbours," US Defence Secretary Chcuk Hagel said while addressing a gathering here.

The NDA government under Prime Minister Modi had invited all SAARC heads of states, including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, for the swearing-in ceremony held on May 26.

The American Defence Secretary said that by committing to the capability building of Afghan forces, India has "invested in long-term security of the region."

He said that during discussions with the Indian leadership, including Modi, the US has stated that the US has not abandoned Afghanistan and "remains committed to help the Afghan National Forces through the transition beyond 2016."

Hagel said Afghanistan was India's neighbour and it was India's responsibility to establish peace in the region.

He said the US would also want to increase regional security cooperation with India along with counter-terrorism cooperation.




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